Now that spring is here, it is the perfect time to inspect the condition of your home. Maintaining issues in or on your home before they become problem areas can save you money, time and peace of mind.
One: Check that roof. Get up there or have someone who is better able to, if you cannot, and inspect the shingles. Make sure that none of them are out of shape or missing. Replace, or have replaced shingles that are gone or worn out. Make sure first, however, that there is not an underlying problem that should be addressed that is more serious. Another way to check that the roof is in good condition is to get into the attic and check the ceiling to be sure moisture or discoloration is not coming through.
Two: Check your windows. Be sure that precious heat or cooling air is not getting outside of those windows because they are rotting or otherwise compromised. Consider replacing or updating your windows to be more energy efficient. This can be an expensive project, but the cost you incur now will be well worth the investment down the road as you see your energy bills lowered and the value of your home increased. If you do not think the windows need updated or replaced, at least check the caulk and seals to make sure they are still in good condition. This is important even if you just did it prior to winter because if you live in a cold region, the inclement weather could have had an adverse affect on it and you need to check to be sure they are still in good condition.
Three: Inspect your gutters. Make sure they are leaf and debris free to allow water to flow freely from them. Also be sure that the end of the gutters are facing at a downslope away from your home so you do not get moisture into your foundation. This is very important because moisture going into the foundation can lead to nothing but trouble and high repair costs. If necessary, build the dirt up around your home as well to make sure water slopes away from it. Also make sure your lawn sprinklers are not spraying your house as that also provides a source of moisture onto your home that can lead to dastardly things.
Four: Inspect the condition of your paint or siding on your home. If you can get away with a good pressure cleaning, consider doing that as well. If, however, you need to repaint, now is the best time to do it. Make sure if you are doing the job yourself that you place down a good coat of primer first. This will make your paint job look better, easier to clean and will make it last longer. Primer is also a great tool for covering stains, preventing blistering or excess peeling of paint, and aiding in the covering of a previous dark or bright color of paint that is on the home. To save paint you may even want to consider having the primer you purchase tinted towards the color of the paint you will be using. A lot of times you may want to skip the step of primer because you think it is time-consuming but a word to the wise, never, never skip this step. It will save you time, and expense, in the future. Now is the perfect time to have your shutters, undersides of roofs on porches, railings and bannisters painted or replaced (if necessary) as well.
Five: Look around at the trees outside of your home, preferably before the green has returned to them. If you have branches or limbs that are hanging over your roof or power lines, get them trimmed now while it is an easier job to perform. Look too, at the conditions of your trees. If you have trees that are dead or dying, have them removed and the stumps ground. The price of tree removal can vary quite a bit so make sure to get several estimates and make sure every action that is to take place is written in it. For example, if you are going to have the wood removed or the stumps ground, be sure to have that included in the written estimate. Likewise if you have asked for an existing stump to be ground, a branch to be cut, or something similar, get it in the estimate that it will be done, even if there was a verbal agreement to do so. Tree removal services are very popular this time of year, which means the workers are busy. The person who gives you your estimate may not be the person who does the actual job, so you want to have everything that was discussed put into the estimate. If you receive one and an item discussed is missing, simply request that a new one be written up. It only takes the office a minute or so to revise the estimate and get a new one out to you and it can save you a lot of headaches if you choose to have that business for the specified job.
To see what jobs need to be done on your home or in your yard, simply take a walk around, be objective and look at it with an outside perspective. Continued maintenance is all part of home ownership and keeping up with it reaps benefits seen and unseen for long into the future.